Tesco’s filing stations are helping to boost its sales performance, according to its latest figures. The rise comes despite deflation in fuel prices over the period and its Fuel Save promotion, which it says enables its Clubcard customers to obtain the cheapest fuel in the UK.

In its trading statement for the 19 weeks to January 3 it said total UK sales including VAT and fuel for the full 19 weeks to January 3, declined by 0.7% compared with sales in the same period a year ago. However, when fuel was stripped out from the figures the decline was greater at 1.3%.

The supermarket group also also announced that it would close 43 unprofitable stores more than half of which will be Tesco Express convenience stores, but did not say where and shelved plans to open a further 49 new "very large" stores.